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Reducing Online Course Dropouts30 June 2020
Only 20 percent of students who enroll with the intent to complete in the MOOC courses offered by Stanford, Harvard and MIT, actually do so. A study of 247 classes with a quarter million students around the world, looked at four types of common intervention thought to improve that result, based on smaller earlier studies.
Bottom-line: Some of the interventions worked for some of the students in some of the courses. But overall, these interventions in the MOOCs did not improve course completion rates. Context matters. For example, plan-making initially helped engagement, but faded over one-two weeks. Value-relevance intervention helped in reducing the completion gap between students in developing countries and developed countries, in some courses, some of the time. The authors suggest that rather than asking 'what works?' the relevant question is 'what works, for whom, right here?'
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